How to take care of Saddlepads. Tips and methods.
Tips on How to look after Saddlepads
Saddlepads are an essential part of a horse's equipment. They serve to protect the horse's back from the weight and pressure of the saddle, preventing discomfort and injury. They can also look great and be part of a stylish and co-ordinated look. However, like any piece of equipment, saddlepads require proper care to ensure that they remain in good condition and continue to provide the necessary support and protection for your horse. Here are some easy ways to look after your horse's saddlepads.
Cleaning Your Saddlepads
One of the most important things you can do to take care of your horse's saddlepads is to keep them clean. Regular cleaning will help to remove sweat, dirt, and bacteria that can build up over time and cause irritation and infection on your horse's skin. Whilst you should always refer to the saddlepad’s washing instructions, here are some basic ways you can clean them:
- Brush Off Dirt and Hair - Before washing your saddlepad, use a soft brush to remove any loose dirt and hair. This will make the cleaning process more effective and prevent the dirt from clogging up your washing machine.
- Use a Mild Detergent - Fill your washing machine with cold water and add a mild detergent designed for horse gear. Avoid using fabric softener or bleach, as these can damage the saddlepad's materials and reduce its effectiveness.
- Wash on a Gentle Cycle - Place your saddlepad in the washing machine and wash on a gentle cycle. Avoid using hot water or high spin speeds, as this can damage the saddlepad's shape and cause it to lose its padding. Wash like colours together and don’t overfill. Remember to empty your filter – horse hair can get stuck in it!
- Hang to Dry - Once the washing cycle is complete, hang your saddlepad outside or in a well-ventilated area to dry. Avoid using a tumble dryer, as the high heat can damage the materials and shrink the saddlepad. It can also damage beading.
Storing Your Saddlepads
Proper storage is also crucial to maintain the quality and longevity of your saddlepads. Here's how you can store your saddlepads:
- Keep Them Dry - Always ensure that they are completely dry before storing them. Dampness can cause mould and mildew to grow on the materials, leading to odour and deterioration.
- Store in a Cool, Dry Place - Keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Exposure to heat and sunlight can cause the materials to fade and weaken over time.
- Avoid Folding - Folded saddlepads can develop permanent creases that can affect their fit and padding. Store them flat rather than folded. You can stack them on top of each other, but make sure to place a clean towel or cloth between each pad to prevent them from sticking together. Or, roll your saddlepads and store them in a bag or container designed for saddlepad storage.
- Protect Them from Moths: Moths can be a real problem, especially during the warmer months. To protect your saddlepads from moth damage, store them in airtight containers or bags. You can also use moth repellent sachets or cedar wood blocks to deter moths, just as you do for clothes.
Checking for Wear and Tear
Regular inspections of your saddlepads will help you to identify any signs of wear and tear, allowing you to replace them before they become a safety hazard. Here's what to look out for:
- Padding - Check the padding for any signs of compression or flattening. If the padding has lost its resilience, it may no longer provide adequate support and protection for your horse's back.
- Stitching - Inspect the stitching for any signs of fraying or coming apart. Loose stitching can cause the saddlepad to shift and move around, leading to discomfort and even injury for your horse.
- Materials - Check the materials for any signs of thinning, tearing, or cracking. Damaged materials can compromise the effectiveness of the saddlepad and cause irritation and injury to your horse's skin.
It's easy to get stylish saddlepads and look after them
Taking care of your horse's saddlepads is essential to ensure their comfort and safety during rides. By following these easy steps you’ll make them last longer and keep them clean and comfortable for your horse. Now to decide on what gorgeous one you want to choose! See our range.
Of course if you have quite a few to clean or you simply want someone else to do them - never fear J&H are here to help. If you live locally (Berkshire/High Wycombe areas) we offer Equine Laundry services. See details here.